The holiday season arrives in Detroit: City gathers to light Christmas tree

Posted at 7:49 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 23:54:42-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit's Christmas tree was lit was Friday night, welcoming the holiday season to the city.

This year marks the city's 19th annual tree lighting ceremony, which is put on by the Downtown Detroit Partnership and DTE Energy Foundation.

This year's tree is a 65-foot Norway Spruce from Lake City.

Thousands flocked to downtown Detroit to take part in the festivities, where there were several performances including American figure skater Mariah Bell, who is a 2022 U.S. national champion, and Darren Criss, a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning singer and songwriter who was in the TV show "Glee."

The World's Largest Red Kettle bell was also lit in Detroit, signifying the start of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign, which this year has an $8.2 million goal.

“It’s so fun. I’ve been coming down here since I was like 4, so it’s just fun to do something every year and come see the tree lighting,” Kayla Fails of Detroit said.

She says her and her mom Sholanda Johnson have been making it a tradition for 10 years.

“To be back now is absolutely amazing. Like Kayla said, it’s magical. We enjoy it,” Johnson said.

The event was a moment many in metro Detroit have been waiting for. The crowd was packed despite below-freezing temperatures.

“We have hand warmers and stuff like that. We’re prepared for the cold,” Kennedy Adams from Redford said.

Related: Crowds converge in Downtown Detroit for 2022 Light Up the Season

For those who braved the weather, tradition outweighed the cold, especially when that tradition means spending time with family and feeling the warmth of the holiday season.

“Christmas is my favorite time of the year because it really brings the family together,” Adams said.

There's still plenty of time to check out the holiday festivities. Shopping is available and the ice skating rink is open until March 5.

The holiday season arrives in Detroit: City gathers to light Christmas tree

You can watch the tree being lit in the video player above.